BLACKBURN'S Paula Walker is in 11th place after the first two rounds of the women's bobsleigh in Whistler.

Walker and brake-woman Kelly Thomas stood 14th after the first run but enjoyed a hugely improved second run which moved them up to 11th and close to their aim of a place on the top 10.

Their performance was all the more encouraging following their scary crash in training which Walker insisted she had put out of her mind despite the continuing issues over the controversial Whistler track.

Walker said: "When I came up the straight it didn't feel like a particularly good run but when I saw the time it really sunk in that it was good.

"We came in looking at a top 10 finish and I think it's well within our reach.

"For me the crash was done and dusted pretty much straight away.

"We went straight up and had another run down the track. It just acted as a reminder that a bobsleigh track can bite you on the backside."

Walker stands just one place behind British favorite Nichola Minichiello, who struggled to get to grips with the track in blizzard conditions and stands almost a second behind Cathleen Martini's German bob in third place.

Their overnight position will come as a crushing disappointment to Minichiello and her brake-woman Gillian Cooke, who won the world title last year and headed to Vancouver insisting nothing less than gold would do.

The Canadian bob piloted by Kaille Humphries stood in the gold medal position half-way through the programme with a 0.13 advantage over Erin Pac's USA2. Martini was a further 0.27 adrift.